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World Weekend Roundup: Wilder, Rigondeaux Retain Titles

There were a few world title bouts across the globe this past weekend with the biggest contest occurring Saturday in America, as WBC heavyweight king Deontay Wilder retained his belt against challenger Chris Arreola at Legacy Arena in Birmingham.

Wilder held every advantage against California veteran Arreola and leveraged each one of those edges during the fight, as the champion was simply too tall, too quick, too strong and too heavy-fisted for the challenger.

The Alabama man toyed with his adversary, allowing Arreola to gain proximity simply to make the challenger easier to hit. Wilder took his time in the ring, slowly whittling down Arreola with jabs, hooks and the occasional thunderous right hand.

Arreola did snap back the head of Wilder on occasion with jabs and the odd power shot, an indication that the champion still has a long way to go on defense but Wilder has yet to tangle with an opponent who can make him pay for that shortcoming.

By the fourth frame, Wilder had Arreola reeling into the ropes and then on the floor but the former two-time world challenger showed a lot of courage to survive until the bell.

From the fifth round on, Wilder went almost exclusively with a left-hand only approach that allowed Arreola breathing room, but at a price, as the challenger suffered a closed right eye and a badly bleeding left eye, prompting his corner to keep their charge from answering the bell for the ninth.

Wilder improves to 37-0 (36) but could be out of the ring for an extended period due to reportedly suffering injuries to his right arm and hand against Arreola, who falls to 36-5-1 (31).

There was an important contest at welterweight on the undercard as contenders Sammy Vasquez, 21-1 (15), and Felix Diaz, 18-1 (8), went at it over ten rounds.

The southpaw Vasquez was the busier fighter throughout but it was the much shorter Diaz who was more effective, drawing his opponent into traps that Vasquez was unable to avoid.

Vasquez was the better fighter early on from a distance but was mauled on the ropes anytime the action moved there. The Pennsylvania man's fate was sealed, however, when wily Cuban Diaz began to sucsessfully potshot his rival from afar.

Vasquez lost a oint in the tenth for excessive loss of mouthpiece before Diaz won a UD by margins of 93-96, 95-94, 95-94.

Over in jolly old England, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Terry Flanagan retained their titles at the Ice Arena in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday.

WBA "Super" super bantam ace Rigondeaux, 17-0 (11), wasted little time in sorting out former British titlist "Jazza" Dickens, who was kept on the stool by his team after the second round of this all-southpaw clash.

That outcome was due to Rigondeaux landing a massive right hand midway through the second frame that reportedly broke the jaw of Dickens. The British fighter had looked very good against one of the top fighters on the planet up to that point, despite not having previous world class experience.

WBO lightweight ruler Flanagan, 31-0 (12), was given all sorts of trouble by awkward ex-IBF super feather champ Mzonke Fana, 38-10 (16).

Fana used constant movement to befuddle the southpaw titlist, who began to find his rhythm by the midway point but the challenger was able to land right hands on many occasions.

As the rounds wore on, Flanagan doled out an ever increasing amount of punishment and by the final round, the 42 year old Fana finally was punched to the floor but regrouped to hear the final bell.

Flanagan was awarded the victory by scores of 120-106 on all three scorecards but must improve his defense if he is to suceed in any upcoming unification bout.

At Max Schmeling Halle in Berlin, Germany, super middleweight Giovani De Carolis, 24-6-1 (12), retained his WBA crown for the first time, facing Tyron Zeuge, 18-0-1 (10), over 12 rounds.

Italy's De Carolis continued his career resurgence with a gutsy performance, refusing to bend against the big-hearted younger challenger, who reportedly fought through an an injury suffered late in the contest as the champion won a majority draw cards by a margin of 115-114 with the other two cards.

Also on the show in Berlin was former two-weight world champion Arthur Abraham, 45-5 (30), who stopped the far less experienced Tim Robin Lihaug, 15-2 (8), at 1:09 of the eighth round to capture the vacant WBO International super middleweight strap.

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